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[Tuesday Tips] Musings on Submissions

I’ve reviewed sixty-four submissions in the last five days, which has led to this short list of suggestions.

Tips for Submission Emails 

  1. A submission email is an application for a job – a job as a professional writer. Demonstrate your facility with the English language by using proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar. 
  2. Re-read and edit your email before you hit sent. If you can’t be bothered to scan your email before hitting send, I’m going to expect your manuscript to be equally sloppy.

Tips for Submissions

  1. Read our Submission Guidelines. We posted them for a reason. No one is perfect, but the closer you match the guidelines, the easier it is for us to complete the review of your story, and we’ll know that you are committed to working with us, not just scattering submissions to any submissions email you find on the internet.
  2. Don’t use fancy formatting. Use plain, standard fonts that are easy to read, not script. Black font on white paper. Don’t format the manuscript into book format. At the submission stage, we aren’t looking for pretty. We are looking for a well written story with engaging characters. 8.5×11 or A4 page size with standard margins is the easiest to review. If we accept your manuscript, the first thing we do is strip out all formatting.
  3. Send the files in doc, docx, or rtf format. Don’t send a pdf. If you work in Word Perfect, Microsoft Works, Open Office or Pages, save your document to one of the requested formats by using the “save as” feature. If you can’t save the file directly from you word processor, you can convert it for free at Zamzar.com.
  4. The synopsis is important. This isn’t a blurb. It doesn’t have to be snappy and attention catching. You don’t have to be good at summaries. Tell us what your story is about. Give us the highlights, list the key scenes, and tell us how it ends.
  5. If your book is part of a series, include a summary of the overall series with your submission. It doesn’t have to be detailed, but let us know what you are planninghow many books and a short synopsis for each.
  6. Be patient. We value your submission, but we receive more than 120 submissions a month. All submissions from new authors are reviewed in the order in which they were received. Unless you have contracted a full length manuscript with us in the past, expect the review process to take close to the eight weeks listed on the website.

Published in Elizabeth Publishing Writer Resources Writing Tips

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